MIDLANDS’ signature fourth hole. (Insert) The view at Tagaytay Midlands. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF RHONEIL COUSART

Tagaytay City is home to two well-designed golf courses offering different challenges for average and elite golfers alike — the Tagaytay Highlands and Tagaytay Midlands.

The Highlands and the Midlands are designed by the late Richard Bigler who has built a number of courses across the United States. A third nine at Midlands is designed by John Olinosky.

While the Highlands is carved in a mountain and features tight fairways and rolling terrain, the Midlands is flatter, longer and wider.

Golf director Rhoniel Cousart said the number of players going up to play both courses is close to pre-Covid-19 levels.

This is partly due to the fact that both courses have opened their doors to non-members last June.

However, guests undergo a screening process.

Those who have been out of the country in the last 30 days are required to present a negative result of the swab test before they are allowed to play.

They are also asked to present a copy of the passport and write their golf history for the last two weeks.

Like most private clubs, guests can only play if accompanied by a member.

Each member is allowed a maximum of three guests who will be asked to sign waivers.

Despite strict health and safety protocols, Cousart sees an upward trend of golfers playing both courses.

“The Highlands draws an average of 40 to 50 rounds on weekdays and 60 to 80 on weekends,” Cousart said.

“The Midlands 80 to 100 on weekdays and 120 to 140 on weekends.”

Impressive numbers considering the distance between Tagaytay and Manila where there is a big concentration of golfers.

Cousart said December to February is the best time to play in Tagaytay because of the cool weather.

What makes Tagaytay more attractive is the number of good hotels, restaurants and attractions for families.

That’s probably one reason why Cousart did not think twice to relocate in 2017.

Before taking on what he considers the best job in the world, he was a golf coach of De La Salle Zobel, a golf referee and tournament organizer aside from running a restaurant business.

Also playing twice a week is not a bad proposition.

How to go to Tagaytay from Manila?

The fastest way is to take the South Luzon Expressway, then exit at Sta. Rosa and drive straight to Tagaytay City. The trip would be a little over one and a half hour.

Another is via Emilio Aguinaldo Highway and R2 which would take about 1:46 or the Aguinaldo Boulevard and Emilio Aguinaldo Highway which is about 1:58.

How much is the green fee?

Highlands charges P1,500 on weekdays and P2,300 on weekends.

For Midlands, it is P1,800 on weekdays and P2,800 on weekends.

Source: The Daily Tribune